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A review of the use of propofol for procedural sedation in the emergency department
  1. L Symington,
  2. S Thakore
  1. Accident and Emergency Department, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr L Symington
 Accident and Emergency Department, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK; linda.r.symington{at}


Sedation for short but potentially painful procedures is often undertaken in the emergency department. The ideal sedative regimen should provide analgesia and anxiolysis with minimal side effects and cardiorespiratory depression and rapid recovery post-procedure. Propofol has found increasing popularity with anaesthetists for sedation in the operating theatre. This is a review of the current literature looking at the use of propofol for procedural sedation in the emergency department. A comprehensive literature search of Medline from 1966 to week 4 of 2005, Embase from1980 to week 10 of 2005, and the Cochrane Library was carried out using the OVID interface. Eight articles were selected for review. The evidence suggests that propofol is both effective and safe to use in the emergency department. However, several of the papers reviewed used deep levels of sedation that are not recommended in the UK by non-anaesthetists.

  • CNS, central nervous system
  • ED, emergency department
  • emergency
  • propofol
  • sedation

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  • Competing interests: there are no competing interests

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